I have wondered what I would admit to if I were asked about significant milestones in my life, if someone asked me to tell of a meaningful experience or a small piece of advice. I wonder if I would tell of my troubadour husband and me sleeping in a cornfield one summer night, in our search for dreams and money. We listened to the dry stalks creaking like old bones, the leaves rustling in a silk slip waltz. We finished out the night in our car at the side of the highway, pulled safely off the road, overlooking a mountain river. In the morning while my husband slept, I found my way down the embankment, pulling off my tee-shirt and jeans then stepping into the icy water. The embankment was high and the cars went by fast. I looked up when I heard my husband yelling, “This is a highway! You can’t be naked down there!” I just laughed and continued to wash my hair, splashing and daring anyone to stop or slow down. I can still remember how my head ached with the cold after I rinsed the shampoo from my long hair. I also remeber my hair and skin never shone with such brilliance before or since. I find nothing significant in that experience except I remember it, usually with a Mona Lisa smile. I might recall the evening my father and I sat in the doorway of his garage, sharing some talk, some silence and a beer. We gazed throught the thickening darkness at the outline of piney woods. He told me a true story of a beautiful woman, madness, lost love and a heartbroke man. I remember the sound I made in my throat instead of crying. When we walked back to the house, it was full night, no moon, no stars, only miles of unforgiving darkness. If I were to admit to learning anything useful to help me throughout the second half of my life, however I don’t believe in rules or adages, I would say, have a sense of humor. When the pain passes, find somethig to smile about and listen for the coyotes. Their cry in the night might make anyone feel lucky.
P O Box 48
Howell, MI 48843